A peak body for aged care has welcomed news the wait time for people to receive home care has dipped below a year, but says it remains "unacceptable" and a long way from the recommended time frame.
The wait time for someone to get on a Home Care Package is between nine and 12 months according to the latest Home Care Packages Program data report.
Leading Aged Services Australia acting chief advocate Tim Hicks said while that was a big step forward, from a wait of almost three years in 2018-19, there was a "significant way to go".
"Having almost 90,000 older Australians waiting up to a year for essential care is still unacceptable," he said.
"We remain concerned that government has not made a firm commitment to reducing wait times to less than a month, as recommended by the Royal Commission."
Mr Hicks said based on committed federal funding for the packages it could be enough to clear the queue over the next two-year period, but that was dependent on demand remaining consistent.
He said if the wait time decreased significantly a home care package may become a better option for many, who might otherwise not bother.
"If that increase in demand happens, then it'll require additional commitments from the government to meet that one month maximum wait time recommendation," Mr Hicks said.
The federal government has pledged $6.5 billion to create 80,000 new home care packages over the next two years.
Mr Hicks said reducing the wait time to under a year was a "milestone" and could be the difference between someone willing to wait for a package or being forced to rely on other options such as family or residential care.
While waiting for a package, Mr Hicks said people can get some help through a Commonwealth Home Support Package, which is a lower level of care, or through family, until they can access the help they need.
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